Oakland, CA (Sports Network) – Coco Crisp homered and drove in three runs, and Gio Gonzalez tossed seven shutout innings to lead Oakland over American League West-leading Texas, 6-2, in the middle installment of a three-game series.
Gonzalez (10-7) held the Rangers to four hits and three walks while fanning two for the Athletics, who have alternated wins and losses over their past eight contests and remain 8 1/2 games back of the division leaders.
Taylor Teagarden homered for Texas, while Rich Harden (4-4), in his second start since being activated off the disabled list, only lasted 2 1/3 innings thanks to five walks allowed. The former A’s ace gave up two hits and three runs in his shortest outing of the year.
Harden had control issues from the start, walking three of four hitters after Crisp led off the home first with a single. The third bases on balls came against Kevin Kouzmanoff, who was down 0-2 before working the count full and taking a low fastball to force in a run.
Mark Ellis added a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead, and Crisp took a first-pitch changeup over the wall in right-center in the next frame.
Crisp made it a four-run game in the fourth when his fly ball to center was deep enough to score Cliff Pennington, who opened the frame with a triple off Scott Feldman.
The Rangers failed to score off Gonzalez despite having two baserunners in the second, fourth and fifth frames.
Nelson Cruz bounced into an inning-ending double play in the sixth, and Rajai Davis singled in the bottom half and came around to score on Matt Watson’s line-drive double to right. Crisp added another sac fly later in the inning for a 6-0 margin.
Teagarden spoiled Oakland’s shutout bid with a leadoff homer off Jerry Blevins in the eighth, and David Murphy singled home Jorge Cantu in the ninth before Craig Breslow closed out the win.
Harden spent five-plus years in Oakland and threw seven shutout innings against his former team earlier this season…Davis went 2-for-4 and recorded two steals, upping his season total to 34…Oakland has won nine of their last 10 day games…The Rangers still lead the season series, 6-5…In the rubber match on Sunday, Trevor Cahill is scheduled to start for Oakland opposite Colby Lewis.